SUNIVERSITY OF Cooperative Extension Service
FLORIDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
lHorticultural science Departmenlt P.O. 110690 Caineavillc, FL 32611 Telephone 904/392-2134
January 16, 1996
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. 1995 Amendments To The Perishable Agricultural
Commodities Act pacaA).
B. N Fertilization of Carrots on Sandy Soils.
C. 1996 Florida Postharvest Horticulture Institute & Industry Tour
March 7 14, 1996.
II. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. New Vegetable Varieties for 1996.
Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever
possible, please give credit to the authors. The purpose of trade names in this
publication is solely for the purpose of providing information and does not
necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
March 7-14, 1996. Florida Postharvest
Horticulture Institute and Industry Tour.
Contact Steve Sargent, Coordinator.
I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. 1995 Amendments To The
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act
President Clinton signed a bill
amending the PACA on November 15, 1995.
The amendments significantly change PACA's
operation and growers who rely on PACA to
enforce fair trading practices need to be aware
of the changes.
It's important to note what hasn't
First, PACA continues to require
traders to comply with the terms of their
contracts. Sellers must ship the quantity and
quality specified in a contract. Buyers must
accept shipments that meet the contract
guidelines and pay promptly after acceptance.
Second, unlike other regulatory
programs, license fees from PACA
beneficiaries finance the entire administration
of the Act. Congress provides no
Third, fruits and vegetables are highly
perishable and are often sold and consumed at
the retail level before growers are even paid.
The new PACA continues to allow growers,
brokers and other traders to market highly
perishable commodities while protecting their
rights in the event that a contract dispute
occurs. It does this simply, without imposing
Finally, dispute resolution without
PACA means court action. Without PACA,
growers will need to go to court to get paid.
The alternative to PACA is expensive
KEY PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW
1. License fees
Traders are still exempt if they purchase less
than $230,000 of produce in a calendar year,
unless they purchase jobbing quantities from
someone else. License fees are set at $550
plus $200 for each branch operated by the
primary licensee in excess of nine such
facilities, with a cap of $4,000. License fees
are set for three years. After that they can be
increased without congressional approval.
Retailer's license fees are phased out over the
next three years.
2. Slow Pay
USDA now has the authority to assess civil
penalties, not to exceed $2,000 for each
violation or each day the violation continues.
Under the old law, the only action USDA
could take against slow pay/no pay was either
license suspension or revocation. As a result,
slow pay was rarely if ever enforced because
of the severity of the sanction. Now, USDA
has the ability to penalize slow pay/no pay
with fines, although it is not yet clear the
process they will use to determine slow pay
3. Trust provisions
For licensees, trust benefits are preserved
merely by including a trust rights statement on
the invoice. There is no need to prepare and
send trust notices to USDA and the buyer.
For non-licensees, a trust notice must still be
prepared and sent to the buyer in the time
frames required under the old law. However,
non-licensees do not need to send a trust
notice to USDA anymore.
The new PACA also adds a subsection
defining sufficient disclosure of collateral fees
and expenses (rebates). The use of collateral
fees and expenses is one reason why
retailers/wholesalers sought repeal of PACA.
USDA considers failure to disclose their use as
an unfair trade practice. The law now defines
what constitutes sufficient disclosure and
USDA will probably require disclosure of
rebates on invoices.
Collateral fees and expenses can be many
things, but most commonly are rebates and/or
promotional allowances. For example, if a
supplier has a contract with a hospital to
deliver weekly shipments of fruits and
vegetables for cost plus 7%, sufficient
disclosure means that promotional or volume
discounts must be listed on the face of the
weekly invoice an unfair trade practice as
defined by USDA if it is not.
5. Unfair trade practices
It is now illegal for producers to misrepresent
the character, kind, grade, quality, quantity,
size, pack, weight, condition, degrees of
maturity, or state, country, or region of origin
of any perishable commodity. It is also illegal
for producers to remove signs on containers if
that sign contained a statement signifying that
the container complied with federal or state
law as to grade or quality. Finally, it is now
illegal for producers to substitute in the
contents of a load after it has been officially
The new law limits misbranding liability solely
to those who could have knowledge of a
misbranding and the ability to correct it.
USDA investigations begin only after it
receives a written complaint. USDA must
then notify the company of the nature of the
investigation and must keep the identity of the
person or company filing the complaint
confidential. This is important because filing
a complaint often terminates important
business relationships. Filing fees of $60 and
$300 for informal and formal complaints
become a permanent part of the law.
WHAT IS MISSING?
1. The bill does not address first lien
treatment in bankruptcy cases for
growers who have filed valid trust
2. The bill does not extend protection to
transactions involving Puerto Rico and
other U.S. territories.
3. The bill does not extend protection to
This statement is taken from a memorandum
prepared by Kevin Morgan of the Florida Farm
(Maynard, Vegetarian 96-01)
B. N Fertilization of Carrots on
During the winter of 1994-95, we
evaluated carrot production (nantes and
imperator types) on sandy soils in Gainesville,
FL. Three plantings, 23 Nov., 14 Dec., 1994,
and 17 Jan, 1995 were used. N fertilization
rates included 50, 100, 150, and 200 lb N/acre
plus a zero-N check treatment. No P was
applied, however all carrots received 150 lb
K20/acre. N and K was applied in split
applications part incorporated in the soil
before planting and the remainder in three
sidedressings during the season at
approximately the 2, 4, and 6-inch plant height
Two rows of carrots were planted
about 12 inches apart on raised, pressed beds.
The beds were 24 inches wide at the top and
were spaced 4 feet apart center-to-center.
Irrigation was by overhead sprinklers as
needed to maintain tensiometers at -10 to -12
centibars at 8 inches deep in the bed. No
pesticides were required on the first planting,
however, labeled pesticides were used for
foliar diseases on plantings 2 and 3.
Carrots were mechanically lifted at
harvest and graded for root size. The
responses for marketable root yield across N
treatment for the three plantings are presented
in the following figures. Yield was better for
the first planting than the latter two plantings
and 'Choctaw', the imperator carrot always
out yielded 'Early Scarlet Nantes', the nantes
carrot. In all three plantings and for both
carrot types, most of the positive response to
N fertilization occurred from zero to 100 lb
N/acre. Yield leveled off between 100 and
150 lb N/acre and even decreased slightly as N
rate continued to increase. Current N
recommendations (as of 1995) are for 150 lb
N/acre and data from these three plantings of
carrot support this N recommendation.
EFFECTS OF N ON CARROT
THIRD PLANTING DATE, 17 JAN,1995
1oo --" NANTES
0 50 100 150 200
N FERTILIZATION (LBIACRE)
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 96-01)
EFFECTS OF N ON CARROT
FIRST PLANTING DATE, 23 NOV,1994
EFFECTS OF N ON CARROT
SECOND PLANTING DATE, 14 DEC,1994
20 5- 100 150 20
200 FERTI ACRER)
0 50 100 150 200
N FERTILIZATION (LBWACRE)
1996 FLORIDA POSTHARVEST HORTICULTURE INSTITUTE & INDUSTRY TOUR
March 7- 14, 1996
Institute Program: March 7 and 8
Holiday Inn West, Gainesville
March 7: Morning Session
Postharvest Biology of Horticultural Crops
Dr. Don Huber, Horticultural Sciences Dept.
Applying HACCP Principles to Fresh
Dr. Charlie Sims, Food Science & Human Nutrition Dept.
Maintaining Quality during Harvest and
Dr. Steve Sargent, Horticultural Sciences Dept.
Understanding Chilling Injury and
Recognizing Its Symptoms
Dr. Greg McCollum, USDA Horticultural Research Laboratory,
Effective Sanitation of Postharvest Handling Systems
Dr. Jerry Bartz, Plant Pathology Dept.
Efficient Precooling Operations
Dr. Mike Talbot, Agricultural & Biological Engineering Dept.
Dr. Christine T. Stephens, Dean for Extension
Institute of Agricultural & Food Sciences
University of Florida
Nonchemical Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for
Dr. Jeff Brecht, Horticultural Sciences Dept.
Update on Refrigeration Systems and Issues
Dr. Direlle Baird, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Extending Postharvest Quality Using Controlled and
Dr. Khe Chau, Agricultural & Biological Engineering Dept.
Alternative Strategies for Marketing Tomatoes
Dr. John VanSickle, Food & Resource Economics Dept.
Maintaining Postharvest Quality of Ornamental Crops
Dr. Dave Clark, Environmental Horticulture Dept.
Social Hour & Banquet
March 8 : Morning Session
Current Status of Mechanical Harvest of Horticultural
Dr. Galen K. Brown, Dept of Citrus, Citrus
Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred
Maintaining Postharvest Quality of Tropical Fruits
Ms. Maria Trunk, Manager of Postharvest Technology,
Brooks Tropicals, Homestead
Sensor Technologies for Postharvest Handling
Dr. Bill Miller, Citrus Research and Education Center,
Maintaining Postharvest Quality of Citrus
Dr. Jackie Bums, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake
Maintaining Postharvest Quality of Fresh-Cut Fruits and
Dr. Liz Baldwin, U.S.D.A. Citrus & Subtropical Products
Laboratory, Winter Haven
Maintaining Postharvest Quality of Fresh-Cut Citrus
Dr. Peter Petracek, Dept. of Citrus, Citrus Research and
Education Center, Lake Alfred
Demonstrations at postharvest research facilities for
horticultural crops at the University of Florida.
a) Postharvest Quality Management
Demonstrations will emphasize the accurate measurement of key
quality parameters such as harvest maturity, color, flesh firmness
and flavor; beneficial and detrimental effects of various handling
techniques on the resultant quality of a variety of crops; effective
sanitization of handling systems.
Dr. Jeff Brecht and Dr. Steve Sargent
Horticultural Sciences Department:
Dr. Jerry Bartz, Plant Pathology Department
b) Optimizing Cooling Operations
Techniques will be presented for accurately measuring air and
pulp temperatures, relative humidity, air flow and function of a
typical refrigeration system and several precooling methods.
Dr. Mike Talbot, Dr. Khe Chau and Dr. Direlle Baird
Agricultural & Biological Engineering Department
A display area featuring industry exhibits and materials will
available on both days.
Industry Tour: March 11-14
The Postharvest Industry Tour will provide an
opportunity to experience first hand the latest
technologies for handling and shipping a variety of
horticultural crops. Participants will visit harvest,
packing and shipping operations throughout central
and south Florida, as well as a port facility and
For more information contact Dr. Steve Sargent,
Institute Coordinator: Tel. 352-392-1928, ext. 215
m VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. New Vegetable Varieties for
Every year along about January as I get
my new seed company catalogs I marvel at the
new entries and wonder how they will perform
in Florida gardens. Ultimately these new seeds
are purchased and grown by gardeners across
the state, and I eventually (perhaps after 2 or
3 years) hear some feedback on their
productivity. Fortunately, Master Gardeners
can and do help speed up this process. Here in
Florida they plant demonstration gardens and
include new varieties along with the old
standards for comparison.
The National Gardening magazine out
of Burlington, Vt. has a network of gardeners,
some of whom must be Master Gardeners,
who trial the "new-but-not-yet-released"
vegetable varieties that the companies plan to
release. These testers are a diverse group
from Alaska to Florida who grow the new
varieties and report back to NG horticulturist
Charlie Nardozzi the results of the trials.
While not very scientific, this information from
NG can be very useful in determining what to
plant and grow in 1996. Obviously, one must
conclude that the results might have been
different if the testing had been done entirely
In 1995 the NG group tested 22 of
about 100 new offerings which would show
up in the 1996 catalogs. While there were
many outstanding varieties that the testers
would recommend for gardeners to try, they
picked 10 as the most promising. Table 1
shows the ranking of these top-10 picks
according to performance and who would buy
the seed in 1996. Following the table are
descriptions of these ten varieties.
Table 1. National Gardening top ten new vegetable varieties for 1996.
Would buy in 1996 (%)
'Early Choice' corn
'All Season' cucumber
'Jade A' hubbard squash
'Miracle Sweet' tomato
'Long Pie' pumpkin
'Bush Big Boy' tomato
zl = low, 10 = high (overall appraisal).
'Senorita' (60 days from transplant) is a large-
sized hybrid jalapeno pepper with high yields
and a very mild flavor.
'Sizzler' (65 days from transplant) is a
compact bush hybrid pepper that produces
large, 10-inch, moderately hot peppers that
turn red early. It out yielded Hungarian Hot
Wax in these tests.
'Early Choice' hybrid sweet corn
matures in 65 days from seed, and produces 2
yellow ears per stalk. It has the "sugar
enhanced" gene, so is extra sweet.
'Sugar Crunch' hybrid cucumber (50
days) is a small slicing cucumber that may be
used young as a pickler or when larger for
slicing into salads.
'All Season' hybrid (49 days) is an
early, all female flowering (gynoecious) slicing
'Aria' cucumber produces 4 to 6 inch
long bitter-free slicing fruits, but they are very
thin skinned and the vines are not as robust as
many other varieties.
'Optima' is a butterhead type of lettuce
that performed as well or better than old
standards such as 'Bibb' and 'Buttercrunch'.
'Optima' has slightly frilled light green leaves.
'Long Pie' pumpkin (95 days) was
described as an 'oversized zucchini" when
ripe, with a smooth texture and great flavor
rivaling any cooking pumpkin.
'Jade A' is a hubbard type of winter
squash developed by Cornell University. It has
a large vine (someone called it "northern
Kudzu"), but produces five or six 8-pound
fruits per vine. Keep in mind that foliage
diseases often make growing hubbards in
Florida somewhat risky.
'Miracle Sweet' indeterminate hybrid
tomato (67 days from transplant) graded out
highest of the four tomatoes tried. For some
testers it produced an abundance of solid,
crack-free, sweet-tasting fruits, but they were
a bit small.
'Bush Big Boy' hybrid (71 days
transplant to harvest) is like other Big Boys
except it produces its large-size fruits on a
compact, bush plant rather than the typical tall-
vining characteristic of the indeterminate
Conclusion. These "test" results
indicate that all of these varieties are worthy of
trial here in Florida. But the new seed
catalogs are chock full of items to try, both
new and old. Keep in mind that our Ext. Cir
SP 103 is still the guide to follow for those
varieties with best performance records in this
state. A revised version will soon be off the
press. Watch for it.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 96-01)
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. S. M. Olson
Mr. J. M. Stephens
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. G. J Hochmuth Dr. D. N. Maynard
Professor & Editor Professor
Dr. S. A. Sargent Dr. W. M. Stall
Assoc. Professor Professor
Dr. C. S. Vavrina Dr. J. M. White
Assoc. Professor Assoc. Professor